Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Gnats, Fruit Flies, Be Gone!

If you compost or garden, you most certainly will have a gnat or fruit fly problem at some point.  Well, the other day, I opened the lid to the compost can in our kitchen (which was full and should have been dumped in the compost pile much sooner), and HUNDREDS of fruit flies flew out and invaded our home.    They were all over the fresh fruit and vegetables I keep out on the counter and they were getting on the food in the refrigerator (bla, gross).  A bunch of them even invaded our master bathroom which seems strange to me since it’s in another part of the house away from the kitchen.  They seem to love the big mirror in there, leaving dirty spots all over it.  (Grrrrr!)  We battled these pesky things for days!  Finally, after being attacked in my own bathroom while minding my own business if you know what I mean, I declared war on these tiny little beasts!   So I tried this little trick.

Pour apple cider vinegar and a little dish soap in a bowl……..


…..and wait.  Yep, it’s that simple!

Twenty minutes later, I went back to check my trap.  Lo and behold, it worked!


No harsh chemicals, no messy clean-up, and best of all, NO MORE FRUIT FLIES!    Hahahahahaha! (Evil Laugh)

Now, maybe I'm the last one on Earth to learn this simple trick, but just in case there is anyone else out there who has not been privy to such information, you are now in the know.

That’s my Home Girl tip of the day.   Thanks for stopping by, Homies! Pin It

Saturday, May 17, 2014

White Pottery Collection

photo 4

I’ve collected white pottery, mostly vintage pieces, over the years and displayed it throughout our home, using it in many different ways,

for potted plants,




or as a vase,


to hold stuff like kitchen utensils,



and wine utensils, ........just to name a few.


The pottery was also used to add white accents into the décor.  I liked the idea of unifying our kitchen/family room, dining room and formal living room with white pottery accents scattered throughout as the rooms are all somewhat open to each other.   

But during my recent and ongoing effort to de-clutter and re-paint our house (including ceilings, ugh), I decided to redesign a cluttered built-in shelving unit in our formal living room.  The built-in previously housed our CD collection (that we rarely ever use anymore thanks to I-Tunes), some pretty boxes (all empty), various mismatched picture frames that I couldn’t fit in any other part of the house, a couple of statues and a few family games.  

It seemed like a good idea at the time to put all that stuff there 5 or 6 years ago, and of course it was neatly staged.  Since we have two larger built-in shelves in our office that hold all of our books and collectibles from traveling, and plenty of dish storage with a buffet and china cabinet in the dining room, I really didn’t have a better use for these shelves when we moved in.  So, I just put stuff there to fill it up space.  But after really looking at each thing on the shelf during this de-clutter process, I realized that the cabinet looked like a bunch of shelves of all the stuff that I didn’t know where else to put.  So, I picked out only the things I love and can use, and got rid of the rest. 

I decided to display all the white pottery that had been put in a pile after being de-cluttered from other rooms.   Suddenly, the built-in had a purpose!    A darker paint color was chosen for the back of the built-in, to contrast the color of the pottery.  And my white pottery which previously had been scattered throughout the house transformed into a beautiful collection!   I just really love the simplicity, utility, versatility, unity and serenity of it displayed together in one space. 

photo 2

And the best part is that I thought I didn’t have any more room for white pottery.  Now that I have a place specifically for my collection, I realize I DO have space for a few more pieces!!  (wink)

Any other pottery collectors out there?  I’d love to see pics!!!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

BEFORE AND AFTER - Mid Century Modern Highboy Chest With Pull-Out Table/Server - View of Manhattan Nightscape

It was love at first sight when I first saw it!  I “heart” the pull-out writing table and the small upper cabinet since they lend to such versatility.  And of course the three different kinds of vintage brass hardware this baby boasts almost makes me drool a little. 


I had been looking for a flat fronted piece to decoupage ever since I purchased five really cool giant size posters on eBay a while back.


I patched up the holes and chunks where the wood veneer was missing, and after a good sanding down, I brought it inside since the shop was too cold for me to work.


I wanted to use chalk paint on this piece but I really wanted to paint it black.    The Annie Sloan line which I had been using on other projects does not include black.  Charcoal gray is the darkest they carry.  But then I stumbled upon the CeCe Caldwell chalk paint brand and they do make black!  Hurray!


Oops, I should have had the Cece’s paint can turned around in the photo above but looks like I might have been distracted by the T.V. -  one of the hazards of working in the family room.   When using chalk paint, I like to dip the tip of my brush in a jar filled with bottled water (tap water can cause discolorations), and then tap the brush on the side of the jar to get most of the water off before dipping my brush into the chalk paint.  I like a smoother finish and the water helps to achieve this look.


Before the waxing process, the chalk paint looks really dry. 


This is a distressed piece and I wanted a little of the wood to show through when I sanded, so I only used one coat of chalk paint. 


After priming and lightly sanding the drawer and cabinet fronts, it was time to lay out my decoupage design.  It is very important NOT to skip the priming step if the wood is raw or unpainted, or if you have used wood filler.  I have skipped the priming step before on an old wooden dresser that had never been painted, and bubbles eventually popped up under my decoupage!


This is a giant size poster of Manhattan, showing the Brooklyn Bridge and the Twin Towers in the background.  I met up with my husband on Valentine’s Day last year (2013), while he was in New York for a training seminar.  We had such a wonderful time and I loved the big city, so when I saw this giant poster, I knew I wanted to put it on a piece of furniture. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at that view all the time, huh?


I measured the chest and poster so that I could center the poster and decide which parts to remove.  Using a large metal square and a sharp blade, I cut the pieces (cutting atop a board so as not to ruin my kitchen island) to fit my drawer and cabinet fronts and then attached them to the chest using mod podge.


I have a couple of very  professional tools to get all the bubbles out…………..an old Dave & Buster’s card or an AARP card just for spite (why did they send that to me!!!!!), but any old plastic card will work.  I do have a squeegee which you are supposed to use for this step, but I really like  using a plastic card better.  After all the air bubbles are out, I paint over the entire papered surface with a couple of coats of mod podge, letting dry and lightly sanding between coats.  With this piece, since I was distressing the painted part, I also distressed the poster as well, roughing up the edges and a few other spots to make it look like it was finished this way ages ago.


After the mod podge was dry, I lightly sanded the entire piece and gave the front a couple of coats of Polycrylic for extra protection.  I used CeCe Caldwell’s wax to seal the painted portion of the chest, but after this project was completed, I have since used Polycrylic to seal chalk paint as well.  The polycrylic offers more protection to the finish than wax, but the wax finish has more of an “old world” look.   Without sealing the chalk paint, it will appear very dull and will just wipe off with a wet rag. 



The hardware cleaned up nicely with an SOS pad and was reinstalled once the Polycrylic was completely dry.



The pull-out shelf can be used as a writing table or even as a serving table, and the small cabinet can be used for desk storage or maybe even barware?  What a very versatile piece!

Now available for sale at:  The Pink Hippo, 15 N. Broadway, Lebanon, OH  45036, Phone:  (513) 836-3738.     ***************SOLD******************* Pin It

Monday, February 3, 2014

BEFORE AND AFTER – French Provincial Dresser

Hey Homies!!!!  It's been a while.  I've been so busy refinishing furniture and trying to build my business that I haven't blogged in a while.  I've got lots of BEFORE AND AFTER pictures to show you, and I'll start with a cute little French Provincial style dresser. This Craigslist purchase had great curvy lines and of course I loved the vintage hardware since I'm a vintage hardware freak.  I bought it from a college student who I believe said he had inherited it from his aunt.   This was the Craigslist photo.  


Needless to say, it had been around the block a few times and was pretty scratched up.  The wood on the frame of the dresser didn't appear to be anything special to me, but I love how you can see the movement in the wood grain on the drawer fronts. 

       photo (2)
The drawers were in pretty good condition with the exception of a couple of deep gouges on one of the top drawers.  They were deep enough that I decided to fill them in with wood putty.  After a light sanding, I rubbed all the drawers down with a couple of coats of Dark Walnut Danish Oil to show off that pretty wood veneer.  


I gave the frame several coats of satin ultra white with a lightly distressed finish.                  

And then decided to give a headboard I had in storage the same two-toned treatment, making a set of the two mismatched pieces.              

I liked the idea of mixing the styles of a modern two-toned treatment to a French Provincial style piece.......ending with a Contemporary French Provincial style.  All of the sudden, it had a new life! 

And I love the shape of that hardware!  You just can't find that everyday!!!!  I got it all shined up and I liked it, but I didn't LOVE it once I put the hardware back on.


But I LOVE the hardware painted white!!!!!!  


It just POPS on those glossy Dark Walnut stained drawer fronts!



Isn't it cute???   On to the next rescue!  ************SOLD!**********************

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